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Robert Harley


Robert Harley is The Australian Financial Review's former property editor. Connect with Robert on Twitter. Email Robert at

Robert Harley


The $5b ‘repair job’ that is reviving Circular Quay

A suite of projects – including an office tower, luxury apartments and the new Waldorf Astoria – is breathing new life into Sydney’s city waterfront hub.

This Month

Mood shifts in the bush as farmland’s long run peters out

The mood has changed in the bush.Farm incomes are tipped to fall in 2023-24, driven by declines in crop production and reduced prices for livestock.


Tenants always return to the centre in a downturn.

Which offices will win? It’s all about location

When it comes to renting office property, businesses are thinking a lot more about access to transport, retail, services and after-hours entertainment.

“Everyone is cranky” about the housing supply problems.

Finally, the focus is on housing supply

The Albanese team is the first federal government in decades to focus on housing supply and not on vote-winning, but ultimately self-defeating, demand-side stimulus.

Property veterans lean in on affordable housing challenge

Commercial property leaders are stepping up to the challenge of providing affordable accommodation to those who need it. 



Stormwater problems hit logistics projects at Kemps Creek

Developers say a Sydney Water levy was ‘late coming to table’ and added almost $50 million to the development costs of a nine-warehouse project.

Australia Square at 264 George Street in Sydney.

Debt headwinds smash some REITs - but not others

Borrowing costs affect all investors, but particularly those in commercial property. And then there’s the issue of values.

Next-gen office: Cbus Property’s three-part 435 Bourke Street tower in Melbourne is part of just a small handful of new towers coming to Australia’s CBDs.

There’s one big factor in the office property slump (and it’s not WFH)

Australia’s office tower property sector is in the doldrums - but investors shouldn’t ignore the fact that there’s an excess of new supply.


One of buildings in the Charter Hall Direct PFA Fund: 570 Bourke Street in Melbourne.

Redemption returns as issue for property funds

When the unlisted property sector is under pressure and values are falling, investors need to know they can get their money back.

Office tower values are falling, but there are other real estate opportunities.

It’s safe to go back into the REIT water

After a tough 18 months, property fund managers say real estate investment trusts will bounce back once interest rates reach their peak and inflation eases.


Labor hammered Howard and Costello for being the nation’s highest taxing government. Without the stage three tax cuts Chalmers and Albanese would then hold the highest taxing government mantle.

The end is in sight for soaring rents

The post-pandemic rental surge is slowing, signalling a return to the more benign rental growth of the decade of the 2010s.

Passionate advocate: Michele Adair is the CEO of Homes Tasmania.

Tasmania shows the way for housing solution

With targets, funds and a mandate ‘to do things differently’, Tasmania’s new housing strategy might be just what the rest of the country needs.

Cloudy outlook: office tower values are under pressure.

Touchy, contested, critical: the truth about office tower values

Within weeks, investors will learn what a select group of valuers really think about pricing. Whether buyers accept those anticipated discounts will then be the test.


Commercial development will get a boost from Australia’s growing population.

The other areas of property affected by immigration

Australia’s surge in migration is creating an increased appetite for all types of commercial real estate, from retail to logistics – and even to offices.

People are returning to offices in the cities but at a lower pace than a full recovery of city life would warrant.

CBDs are rebalancing – after a reality check

Post-pandemic CBDs are emerging, a bit bruised and diminished, but with more stability for a balanced growth.

  • Updated
Encouraging more private property investors is a quick fix to the rental squeeze.

‘The only way’ to fix the rental crisis

A fast way to increase rental supply would be to encourage private investors to stop selling.


Developer Keylin has put its $140 million Oria development in Brisbane’s Spring Hill on ice. 

The hidden reason behind the home building collapse

Australian housing starts have fallen to decade lows because the problems with construction have multiplied, and the cost of finance has soared.


An artist’s view of developments in Liverpool in Sydney’s south-west.

Entire western Sydney region powering ahead on many fronts

Parramatta isn’t the only area that is forging ahead. Other suburbs like Liverpool and Penrith are developing their own plans too.

Parramatta pic, 32 Smith Street, GPT Group’s latest Parramatta tower, with QBE as the major tenant

Staff, investment pour into new offices in western Sydney

A new class of office buildings, including the mammoth Parramatta Square, have added to a surge in commercial property space in Sydney’s west.

The ‘impossible’ Harry Triguboff turns 90

Australia’s most prolific apartment developer now spends less time on individual projects, and more time thinking about the future of a Meriton without him.